tv BBC World News America PBS December 11, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
world news bbc america. reporting from washington, i'm katty kay. offering talks, saying they will not come to the table until he fires the government and reduces all demonstrators. -- releases all demonstrators. concerns about the actions of islamist groups in syria. thousands line up in south africa to pay their respects to nelson mandela as he lies in state in pretoria. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and elsewhere around the globe. tonight, opposition leaders in group -- in ukraine have
rejected the president's offer of talks. instead, they say they want arrested demonstrators released. it comes after a crackdown last night that drew widespread condemnation. abandoneday, they had efforts to clear the protest. evening, men have been freezing in key of cost independent square, carrying -- in the key avenue independence square, carrying sandbags. not allowing the freezing weather to dampen their protest. they are using it to their advantage. thousands were on the square again tonight to show their support for the pro-europe rebellion. >> it's not a job. [indiscernible] >> the barricades are being
built by those fighting to keep alive their dream of joining the european union. struggling against being stuck further into russia's sphere of influence. useder, protesters freezing water to hose down right police trying to reclaimkiev city hall. but the real battle happened overnight. hundreds of officers tried to storm the protest camp, which main streetsv's and shut it down. for hours, they moved amongst an unmovable wall of protesters, but could not break through without using violence, some than they had clearly been ordered not to do. the european union foreign- policy chief, catherine ashton, condemned the, police action and welcomed their
retreat. >> i have seen a withdrawal today and i hope that is an indication that the government realizes it cannot win the battle. he was ready to talk to the opposition and made this promise. >> i assure you that the government will exercise the law and will never use force against [indiscernible] >> on the square, they just want the president to resign. they don't speak for all of ukraine, but are determined and are proving to be formidable opponents. >> for more on the in dash the events unfolding in the ukraine, -- >> for more on the events unfolding in the ukraine, events have changed so rapidly in the last 24 hours.
where does the balance of power lie e >> i would say right now, the momentum is on the side of the protesters. securityearly told the forces not to use too much force. that means the protesters are still there. there are hundreds of thousands in the street. this is something we have not seen since the revolution in 2004. in that sense, i think the president is going to have to blink, later to reopen dialogue with europe, disney -- to dismiss some or all of the government. too much has happened to hold steady. >> do you think the government is underestimating the tenacity of the demonstrators and their desire to have this agreement of closer ties with europe? and also the degree to which the international community will be watching? >> i think the president vastly under at -- underestimated the reaction, particularly at home. he avenged -- he essentially tried to get the best bargain by playing the russians and the
europeans off each other. i think the ukrainians rose up and said, we have been there and done that and we do not want to go back to a relationship where we are tethered to russia. we see europe as the future. andee the czech republic hungary and poland, and they have all done very well by aligning themselves with the european union. we want to head in that direction. his decision has grown up in his face and has threatened his presidency. it is not clear how long this government can continue. >> the coverage of the ukrainian situation in the last couple of , is there a real struggle going on between the russian sphere of influence and the european sphere of influence and ukraine is caught in the middle? >> i would say it is the legacy of the cold war. russia has attempted to exert sway in the southern tier. states andthe united
other europeans have attempted otherst the georgia and countries in the caucuses away. the battle is playing out in the streets of kiev, as you just saw. tosuspended assistance rebels. that means no more nightvision goggles or armored vehicles or two indications equipment. this after the report after -- a report of militants split. the u.s. is anxious about these splits. here is an extensive report from syria. how critical is this nonlethal aid to the syrian rebels e >> i think it is almost irrelevant. -- to the syrian rebels?
>> i think it is almost irrelevant. they have relatively little power, little influence, little say, and they are not decisive on the battlefield. i don't really think it makes any difference. the armed opposition has said all along it wants either significant weapons -- we are talking antiaircraft or antitank weapons, or a no-fly zone. those are the things they think will make a difference. >> it will not make much difference in terms of the battle. why are britain and the united states so concerned that it seems as though they have gotten hold of some of the supplies? >> it is interesting. i've been speaking to people on the ground about the series of events that have seem to have taken place. there is an indication that this is part of a much more significant battle going on between different factions
within the north of the country. the islamic state of iraq and syria, an al qaeda affiliated group, have taken over some of sncse warehouses within the a couple of weeks ago. it is suggested that this was a move by the islamic front to essentially consolidate their control of this area and to keep the hard-core hotties out. out.hadists government are talking about working with the opposition, does it really understand who it should be talking to? and raleigh are trying to sort that out, they would rather not deal with any of them. >> yes, i do not believe that is fair. there is a well established
record of leaving weapons in the wrong hands and them being turned against the unit states or allies. i'm also hearing there were weapons and ammunition in some of those stores. that will be of concern because the u.s. does not want to be accused of having effectively supplied weapons to islamic radicals. and increasingly complicated situation in northern syria. the authority which oversees global agreements has condemned a decision by uruguay to legalize the growing, buying, and smoking of marijuana. it is the first country in the world to legalize the entire production cycle of the drug. britain's prime minister has urged for more resources to be brought in the battle against dementia. countries to other get involved as well, likening
it to other struggles against cancer, aids, and malaria. find outr we wait to who the time person of the year, and -- is going to be, and this year it is pope francis. by ourned in new york international correspondent. i don't think there are many people in the world that would put the pope and miley cyrus in the same short list. >> it tells you about the nature of influence and how it has changed over the years. there are many different kinds of influence. both high power as well as soft power. miley cyrus did not make the final cut. , there wasl five edith windsor, the gay-rights advocate.
, theinally, ted cruz republican. miley cyrus did not make the final five. but she was in the list earlier on. >> why pope francis? >> he has been a remarkable figure this year. in nine short months, the pope has done something quite remarkable. he changed the conversation about the catholic church. he changed the focus of the church from passing judgment to offering service. he changed the perception of the church from being this out of touch institution to one that is humble, that is welcoming. sort of goings by back to the roots of the faith and talking about the poor, reaching out to them, offering more transparency. up manyrently, giving
of the trappings of his high office. not simply to out 1.2 billion catholics, large though that number is, but using modern communication tools and his charisma, and has been able to include many who are not catholics in the discussion about what the right way to approach property is in our time. and what economics we should be talking about. that you honort somebody and you're looking at the global context, and you don't want the popes reached to just be toward catholics because there are many around the world who are not catholics. about the debate of growing inequality in the west? was that behind the choice of pope francis? >> not just in the west. his ability to tap into that the zeitgeist and make it part of his conversation was certainly a
factor. not certain -- not just in the west, but also in emerging economies we hear about all the time. we constantly remind ourselves that many cultures are rising, like india and china. and elsewhere that amounts of people remain very poor. it is not really meant to be an honor. it is meant to be a recognition. is someone who has had a great influence for good or for ill. >> thank you for the clarification from time magazine. thank you. questions are being raised over the treatment of mentally ill inmates in american jails, and in particular the use of solitary confinement in the california prison system. has the practice gone too far for my critics ask. the bbc investigates.
this report contains distressing imaging's. -- images. prisons, thisia is a procedure for taking mentally ill prisoners out of medicallls for treatment. pepper spray is used when prisoners do not follow instructions. ins video was recently shown court as evidence of maltreatment. what is most shocking is that the correctional officers were following the rules precisely in what they did in these videos. if they were following the rules and did everything right, then something is very, very wrong. been 1, 2, have three hours of intervention that had occurred before the actual occurs.orce and also to put it in context, the use of the chemical agent actually is one of the less lethal forms.
>> it is also being challenged in california on the basis of solitary confinement. lex we were -- we were taken to see a security housing unit. thousands of prisoners are held on their own for 22 hours a day and only allowed limited exercise in a segregated yard. >> this is the security housing unit known as the shoe. this prison has a cell with a window to the outside so daylight can come in. it is about this wide and about five steps from the door to the wall. it has a toilet and a sink unit and not a great deal else. a peer on the wall is an air vent, which allows the prisoner to speak to three other cells in this block. isolation breeds hostility. you put a dog on a chain and you don't let him around anybody,
eventually he bites somebody. >> he is schizophrenic and believes his mental state is worsening after 12 years of isolation. >> we do not necessarily consider it to be solitary confinement. it depends on your definition. the value of having some way to isolate and contain folks that are really the offenders that are preying upon the other members of the prison population is needed. >> california's super maximum withns were designed isolation and mass incarceration. but two thirds of the inmates now reoffend and the system is under review. those who experience solitary believe it is far -- flawed. the american hikers captured and held by iranian authorities along the iraqi order were deeply affected by their time to time bars.
people inolds more solitary for longer than he ran. -- then a ron. solitary ford in 10 days. >> it helped me to understand why solitary confinement is psychological torture. it damages people in ways that they often never recover. >> a judge in california has ordered them to cut the prison population by one quarter. the campaign is to focus on isolation and the treatment of the mentally ill. a lot of questions there about the conditions prisoners are held in, in california. you are watching bbc news. still to come. could a man providing sign language yesterday for president obama and others in honor of nelson mandela have been a fake echo here why some -- have been
a fake? here why some are questioning credentials. after a decision outlawing homosexuality, gay rights activists protested outside the court. toy say they will continue press for the removal of the law that encourages dissemination. the judge has said only lawmakers, not the court, can change this law. the 1960s.ck to >> here in central delhi, they have gathered to protest the decision by the door -- by the court to restore 19th-century marriage as agay natural. court has said only
parliament can change the law. it comes as a huge disappointment for everyone gathered here. x there is a lot of this -- >> there is a lot of disappointment. the country has been moving forward on gay rights for about 20 years now and this is a big step back. seenupreme court has not how destructive it is in the lives of people. rulingsupreme court's has been welcomed by some groups, largely conservative and religious groups, who oppose gay sex. there remains pressure on india's politicians and on parliament to make sure the law stays on the book. but as you can see from the they saythered here, they will continue to fight to oppose this decision, fight it legally, and also take their
battle out onto the street. >> today, world leaders and thousands of south africans filed past the flag draped casket of nelson mandela. as he lay in state in pretoria before burial on sunday. >> an early-morning convoy through the streets of pretoria. nelson mandela's coffin carried into the city where he was once sentenced to life in prison. and on to the place he later came to occupy as president. the elegant union buildings. before mandela took over, this was the seat of white apartheid rule. the heavy coffin draped in the south african flag is carried to a wooden structure in the courtyard. pay theirthe first to respects, mandela's ex-wife, winnie.
there is a succession of familiar faces. but i think he would have been completely humbled by it, to see some of the -- >> i think he would have been completely humbled by it, to see some of the faces and the admiration. >> among those filing past, the apartheid leader who surrendered power to mandela. hope that his influence will bloom in south africa. >> but today's politicians have a tough act to follow. the south african president dean d in front of the world leaders. -- beamed yesterday in front of the world leaders. outside, the public lined up for their chance to pay their respects.
it was very dignified, very somber. the lines passed very quickly. people were allowed just a second or two to pay their respects. to see thatocked instantly recognizable face. >> for many here, it seems the reality has sunk in today. >> [inaudible] and when i saw the casket, i was crying. thehen it is time for coffin to return to the military hospital for the night. there will be two more days for the public to say bigger buys in person. that's to say there goodbyes in person. hanging overoversy yesterday's memorial of nelson mandela. experts say the interpreter
providing sign language may be a fake. >> it was one of the busiest -- he was one of the businesses -- one of the busiest man on the planet, not barack obama, but the one next to him interpreting the speeches for the memorial ceremony. he did it for hours. deaf people started complaining over the internet that they were missing out. societyiff of the deaf of south africa came in with his female interpreter to tell him what he made of the ceremony. >> i'm not getting anything. showing some gestures that don't have meeting. i don't know what this means. >> together, we watched one of nelson mandela's grandchildren deliver a praise poem. it is a problem. there should be facial expressions. isthe government said it aware of the complaint, but has
not finished investigating. it said is -- it said it is busy with the state funeral. embarrassingly, south africa's president was jeered by some in the stadium. but now there are allegations the local media that the state broadcaster did the best to edit out the booing, along with the hand signals. some awkward questions may need answering. many hoped there would be plenty of singing and dancing and were not really ready for the long speeches at the ceremony. now the organizers have to explain how this man got the job as an interpreter. watching a clip from local tv, it is clear that two interpreters are on a completely different page. an extraordinary case of lost in translation. >> that is the oddest story of the week, ending our program tonight. thanks so much for watching.
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